Harriet Gausman: For those who do not know, how long have you been in SL and when did your business begin?

Lyra Muse: I’ve been in SL for a little over five years, and my current business began at the end of March… but its previous incarnation was around for about two years.

Harriet Gausman: What skills did you bring with you in-world?

Lyra Muse: Aside from modeling and texturing prims, I can script a tiny bit, create animations and organize/run events.

Harriet Gausman: How much is Lyra like the real you?

Lyra Muse: Not at all. She’s like… 6′ and willowy. I’m 5’6″ and a much curvier. The only similarity we have is that we’re both blondes – but not the same kind. If I could get my hair coloring in SL I’d be so happy!

Harriet Gausman: Where do you gain your inspiration?

Lyra Muse: Largely from fashion magazines, fashion & design websites, and my own artwork… but just as equally, I am inspired by my fellow creators.

Harriet Gausman: Five words to describe the brand values of Lyra Muse?

Lyra Muse: Inspiring, quirky, colorful, sophisticated, fun!

Harriet Gausman: For the benefit of those who have lived under a stone for the past year; have you collaborated with any other designers in SL?

Lyra Muse: Mostly Ginny Talamasca, but I’ve also had the pleasure of working with Starley Thereian more recently. We have future plans together as well.

Harriet Gausman: You are one of Second Life’s seasoned veterans. How has the grid changed in the five or so years it has been in existence? Are there any changes that you wish had never been made?

Lyra Muse: I’ve said previously that the largest difference in the grid is how it has gone from being a very “small town” place to a very metropolitan one. There is a lot more diversity, of course… and hardly anyone uses default hair and skin anymore, thank god! As far as things changing that I wish hadn’t… I don’t appreciate the undercurrent of treachery that is becoming more prevalent with the CopyBot. Two years ago such a thing would have been unheard of – but two years ago, Second Life didn’t have quite the “AOL” mentality that it does today.

Harriet Gausman: How does it feel to be ‘on your own’ now and ‘going it alone’, as it were?

Lyra Muse: It’s a little scary, of course… Ginny was a mentor of sorts, and I learned quite a bit from her. Had I not, I probably would be far from prepared to deal with and organize a business in Second Life on my own. While I miss her presence immensely and always will, I’ve been fortunate enough to be embraced by the rest of the girls in the Quad. I feel like part of a family here, and because of that, I feel very enthusiastic and happy. I don’t do “alone” well in real life or Second Life.

Harriet Gausman: Do you have a favourite of your own designs?

Lyra Muse: It’s a bit old school, but I like the Quinn shoe… just something about pinstripes and patent leather!

Harriet Gausman: It is always interesting to find out the favourites of the favourites, so what was the last item you bought and who was the designer?

Lyra Muse: Schadenfreude’s (that is Allegory Malaprop) Noir Geraldine Corset Dress in Black… it’s so gorgeous and OUT THERE for me to have purchased it.

Harriet Gausman: Who are your favourite designers inworld?

Lyra Muse: Happy Mood, Celestial Studios, Muse, Redgrave, KUROTSUBAKI, Shiny Things, Canimal, Armidi, Cubic Effect, ETD, Maitreya, UBU, ❤ Cupcakes, Lala FooFoo, Tesla… I could go on, trust me.

Harriet Gausman: What is your stand on the rise of content theft that is pervading SL?

Lyra Muse: I’m really frustrated with Linden Lab’s continued relative silence about this. Okay, so you are going to “change the way DMCAs are handled”, great. What about the people posting “how to” guides on eBay for ripping folks’ work off in SL, or selling them on SLExchange, or so on and so forth? I understand they cannot influence websites outside of their own. However, when it becomes so obvious that people do not care if they get caught by selling these things because LL is not dealing with them as harshly as possible… isn’t it time to say enough is enough? Let us take care of the people who make this such an interesting place to be, perhaps? It is very infuriating.

Harriet Gausman: Have you had to deal with any content theft issues, yourself?

Lyra Muse: Yes, quite recently in fact. One person took my favorite leather textures, and another apparently ripped everything – from my avatar, to the things in my store.

Harriet Gausman: What is the most expensive single item of clothing you’ve bought and how much was it?

Lyra Muse: The Armidi Limited Unisex Moto Leather Jacket in Charcoal. It was L$475 I believe? Ugh. I love Armidi, but my wallet does not, ha-ha.

Harriet Gausman: Name five things you really hate about SL.

Lyra Muse: People trying to ride on the backs of content creators, not being able to rely on the SL client for more than a week at a time, how invisiprims & shiny textures don’t mix, alpha texture fighting, and persistent griefers – the clever ones who only try things once in a while are kind of funny.

Harriet Gausman: What projects are you undertaking at the present time?

Lyra Muse: I am just working on building up my product line by learning Maya Unlimited; I’ve got a little rooftop garden with a secret that I’m working on when I have free time (which right now is never); and of course doing things with Pixels in Pink for Relay for Life!

Harriet Gausman: Finally, you’re stranded on a desert island – name five things that you would not be without and why.

Lyra Muse: The “Great Book of Amber” by Roger Zelazny (it’s huge and I can read it over and over, have been doing so all my life), my buck knife (gotta skin things somehow!), lots of sun block (I burn very easily, I’m fair skinned), my boyfriend (d’uh), and a snake bite kit (also d’uh). I’m boring but mostly practical.